Zac MacMath and Peter Nowak: Public Enemies 1 and 2

While it does not look good for a struggling, winless Union team , it is hard to determine just how serious the situation is for Goalie Zac MacMath and Manager Peter Nowak.

Nowak has made enough controversial moves to arise doubt (PSN).

Although it is not yet panic mode for the Philadelphia, Union fans have not exactly been pleased with what Nowak has done to prepare for and start this season. These faithful fans haven’t been pleased with the performance of new goaltender Zac MacMath either, who has allowed 5 goals in just 2 games so far this season.

The controversy started in the offseason, when Nowak first started making changes. Nowak, who is currently in his third year with the club, has been working to establish a good reputation. Last year he succeeded by turning a bad first-year team into a shockingly competitive playoff team last season; the team’s future even looked promising.

However, in the off-season, Nowak threw much of that progress away when he made some controversial moves.

One of the biggest moves in this MLS offseason had to do with the Union. All-Star and MVP contender Sebastian Le Toux had numerous rumors floating around about who he would play for next year. At first, the shocking heartbreak was about him going to a club in Europe, and fans were left stunned. But about a week later,  it was announced that he was to stay with the Union where he had played since the club’s beginning. Fans were overjoyed to hear that the best player in the [short] history of the team would be returning.

Letting Le Toux go was a ridiculous move, seeing that he scored 25 goals in '10-'11.

Unfortunately, new rumors emerged and quickly became fact when it was divulged that Le Toux had transferred to the Vancouver Whitecaps.

After the sorrow, fans were eager to find out what the Union got out of this deal for one of the top strikers in the MLS. But again, to the their dismay, it was only money. No superstar player to immediately fill his role, but just a mediocre amount of cash paid for a more-then-mediocre player.

Also,  when veteran Captain and star goalkeeper Fyrad Modragon left back to his home in Columbia, Union fans were left pondering who would assume this role. It was released by Coach Nowak that it would be 20-year old Zac MacMath, who started 8 games for an injured Modragon last year. This decision seemed fairly obvious because he allowed only 1 goal per game last year. But this decision was quickly disputed after the start of the 2012 season.

In just 2 games so far this year, MacMath has allowed 5 goals after allowing only 8 in 8 games. Fans have already been displeased, and have been looking to other goalkeeper Chase Harrison, who played for the Harrisburg City Islanders for the last six seasons. In reply to this, Harrison was quoted saying, “My role on this team is to support Zac, but if the opportunity comes up because of an injury or something else and I need to be called upon, I feel like through the experiences I’ve had over the past six years I’d be prepared.”

If MacMath doesn't step up his play, he could be out of a starting job soon.

In the Union’s second game of the season, Nowak made some questionable lineup changes to say the least. Not only did he sit U-23 USA National Team Captain Freddy Adu, but he also took out captain Danny Calif. The latter move was most stunning, considering Calif wore the Captain’s armband for the start of every game in the 3 seasons for the Union, and lost his spot to a defender who isn’t accustomed to playing center.

It should be interesting to see the fates of Peter Nowak and Zac MacMath. Unless the Union play any worse, Nowak’s job should be secure till at least the all-star break. But the situation is definitely uncertain about MacMath, because the Union could give Harrison a chance as soon as Saturday’s game versus the Chicago Fire.


Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: Editorials, Union

Author:George Hall

Khandyman Sports Blog Philadelphia Union writer.

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